Our most frequently asked questions

Bioethanol Fireplaces FAQ

Before purchasing your first new biofuel fireplace there are a number of questions you might have. We have tried to answer as many of these as possible below. If you have any more questions, just contact our friendly, helpful staff.

4 Most Common FAQs

  1. Do bioethanol fires produce heat?

    Perhaps surprisingly, this is a very common question that seems to confuse many people! In part, this could be because biofires are aesthetically pleasing appliances that can be mistaken for decorative pieces. Fortunately, they are much more than this.

    How much heat does a bioethanol fireplace give off in kilowatt-hours?

    In technical terms, bioethanol fireplaces produce around three kilowatt-hours (kWh) of heat when the fuel gauge is fully open. To give you an idea of how hot this is, the average electric fire will generate around 2kWh of heat. In this way, if you own an ethanol fireplace, heat levels are not something you will have to worry about in the deep midwinter. If anything, you may find that a full flame is a little too hot for your tastes. Fortunately, the flame gauge will allow you to turn down the heat.

    What about the larger fireplaces?

    Of course, if you opt for one of our larger bioethanol fireplaces such as the new Marlow or the Globus, more heat will be generated when the flame is burning at full capacity compared to smaller models. Whichever bioethanol fireplace you choose, you can be sure that you will always get a real natural warming flame, and that it will bring a wonderful toasty atmosphere to your room.

  2. Are bioethanol fireplaces safe?

    Bioethanol fireplaces produce real flames, meaning that they should be treated with the same level of caution as any other object that produces real heat. Having said this, bioethanol fireplace safety procedures are very easy to follow, meaning that they are suitable for use in virtually any home.

    To ensure that our customers stay as safe as possible, Imaginfires are constantly updating and improving our biofires. This means that our products have been tested by a world-renowned testing laboratory to ensure they meet the new British and European safety standard BS EN 16647:2015. Customers can rest assured that we only sell products that we would be delighted to install in our own homes.

    Recent updates include the introduction of a new, patented, ‘no-spill’ fuel box into our freestanding, fire basket and woodburner biofires. This means that the biofuel is quickly absorbed by a special internal absorption feature, reducing the risk of any biofuel spilling out of the fireplace when knocked.

    Of course, despite every effort being made to make biofires as safe as possible, there are a few basic safety measures biofire users should always follow. These are all listed in the supplied product manual, but include:

    Taking care with biofuel

    Biofuel is obviously a flammable substance, so it should be handled with care.  It is important never to pour biofuel onto a lit or warm fireplace.   Rather, users should only refuel the fireplace once it has been turned off and cooled down. Before refilling the steel fuel box with the bioethanol fuel, always ensure the fuel box has returned to room temperature (this takes approximately 30 minutes from extinguishing the fire). You should also clean up any biofuel spillages before lighting the fire.

    Purchase high-quality fuel

    To keep your running costs reasonable and to avoid any potential problems, it is best to buy fuel directly from Imaginfires. We offer some of the best value biofuel in the market, and our fuel is developed and bottled specifically for imagin biofires.  

    Take care filling the burner

    Make sure not to overfill the burner as this can cause the flame to become large and unwieldy. It also makes spillages more likely. Although our ‘Non-spill burner’ reduces the chances of spills from  liquid inside the fuel box, there may still be spilt biofuel around the fuel box or fireplace in general. Always clear this away before lighting the biofuel.


  3. Do I need a chimney for a bioethanol fire?

    No.  You dont need to have a chimney as our bioethanol fireplaces are smokeless. This is why we sell so many biofires to people in flats, as well as houses, conservatories etc.  If you do have a chimney, then of course you can still use a bioethanol fireplace too, and it doesnt matter if the chimney is blocked or open.  If it's open, then of course some of the heat from the bioethanol fireplace will be lost throught the chimney. If the chimney is closed/blocked then the heat will be retained in the room. 

  4. Do bioethanol fireplaces give off real heat?

    Yes. Absolutely. Whilst our bioethanol fireplaces are not intended to replace your main heating, e.g. central heating, they will make a perfect additional heating source when you would like to create a more gentle atmosphere, with that real flame, cosy feeling. The actual amount of heat output from our bioethanol fireplaces depends on a number of factors (room size, presence of drafts etc), but typically they will give off 2kw. For easy comparison, this is the equivalent of an electric heater on medium setting, or an increase in room temperature of 3 to 4 degrees. We're still working a way of measuring how much more cosy one of our bioethanol fireplaces will make any room! 

  5. How long does bioethanol fuel last?

    Simply squeeze a fuel out of the bottle and into the fuel box. You can then sit back and enjoy the benefits of your bioethanol fireplace. But for how long exactly? That hinges on how you prefer to use the fuel box.

    So, how long does bio ethanol fuel burn in a biofire?

    On average, a litre of our bioethanol fuel will last between three and four hours. The exact time varies depending on the extent to which you open the steel fuel box slider. When the slider is opened fully, fuel will be used at a faster rate than when it is only opened halfway.

    Type of fuel box

    Burning time (per litre)

    Half open

    4 hours

    Fully open

    3 hours


    How long does bioethanol fuel last comparatively in both large and small biofires?

    The most important influence on the duration of the fuel heating your  cosy-looking living space is the size of the steel fuel box, rather than the size of the bioethanol fire itself.  The larger the steel fuel box, the longer the fuel will last. All of our biofuel boxes have an adjustable slider so you can choose to reduce the size of the hole the flame comes out of, which will in turn make the fuel last longer. 

    How can I find the cheapest bio fuel?

    Biofuel is widely available to buy from various outlets. However, we strongly recommend purchasing your fuel from Imaginfires. We provide fuel at an affordable price that you can rest assured will burn at an excellent rate. Some of the cheapest brands out there often produce a strong unpleasant smell when burning, and often come in unwieldy containers prone to spillage.  We strongly recommend you only use biofuel that is specifically for bioethanol fireplaces and has at least 96% alcohol content. 


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